Collaborating with Paraprofessionals

As opposed to co-teaching, where teaching responsibilities are often shared between two colleagues, the teacher-paraprofessional relationship is a bit different, with the teacher taking more of a supervisory role. This can influence attitudes that are reflected in phrases like “just a paraprofessional,” when paras actually play a much more important role in the classroom than many realize.

Throw the Phrase, “Just a Paraprofessional” Out the Window

Is there anything to be gained by creating a culture in our schools where paraprofessionals (teaching assistants, aides, paras, para-pros, classroom assistants) are viewed as 'less than'? Paraprofessionals have a vital role in our schools. Often, as one parent expressed, paraprofessionals are the least paid, least trained people in the school community, yet they are often charged with caring for and academically supporting the most challenging and most needy students.

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